When the NHS says one thing and actual fitness experts say another, who are we to believe when it comes to ‘recommended exercise guidelines’?

Okay, that one’s easy – we should listen to the fitness experts.

See, normal people love to hear that just two workouts a week (aerobic and strength) is enough.

But you, the personal trainer, you already know that everybody’s different and everybody should have different fitness goals. There’s no one-guide-fits-all answer. And not everybody wants to hear that.

So, you’re faced with the challenge of motivating clients to such a level, that they buy into a training programme that will actually improve their health and fitness.

Granted, some clients are already invested into the idea, and they’ve come to you for max results. But the majority of us would grab any excuse to avoid working out.

Still, there’s one lesson that does apply to every single one of us, no matter our age, condition or aspirations:


Selling the importance of rest is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do as a PT – especially when dealing with referral clients who are just going through the motions on doctor’s orders.

And there are two types of rest to master:


Resting Between Sets

Do you time the rest periods of your clients accurately? The gym’s a social, active, place and it can be easy to get distracted.

Remember, most of us are looking for any excuse to avoid putting in the effort. It’s your job to keep the session focused. Whether it’s your stopwatch, an app on your smartphone or your mind, use something to measure the intervals between sets.

At the same time, encourage resting. Use it as a motivator before/during the set i.e. “push for an extra five and we’ll have a proper breather after this”.

It’s all about the timing.

Rest too long and your workouts lose intensity; rest too little and you burn out too quickly.” – Men’s Fitness

Resting intervals need to vary depending on the exercise, the rep frequency and the client’s condition.

Here’s the good news – you can access guides to basic sets, tri-sets, supersets, Berger technique and every other type of set-training you can think of, including proven-to-work rest times, just by enrolling on the Health and Fitness Education course for personal trainers.

It all comes in the course material – there’s over 100 pages inside, packed full of advice, science and practical templates to use once you graduate.

Resting Between Workouts

This is the best part.

Giving your clients a ‘day off’ is essential – and they love you for it.

Again, you can use this as a motivator, either in the initial stages when you’re seeking ‘buy-in’ from a client or during a session i.e. “you’ve only got this last set before a whole day away from the gym.”

“The most important session of the week, is the one spent away from the gym.”
– Lee Cain, Founder of Health and Fitness Education

There’s another side to this too …

See, there are clients who are too passionate about their fitness, maybe even obsessed. And these will need to be ‘sold the importance of rest’ in a different way.

Earlier this year, it was interesting to read how  marathon runners often see rest days as wasted opportunities, oblivious to the importance of relaxing.

To convince a client like this to slow down, stamp your authority from the start, refer to previous success stories you’ve been a part of, and if you don’t have any – then back yourself up with bulletproof knowledge of the personal training profession.

The final word …

Resting is a crucial part of any fitness mission. Some experts even argue your fitness goals can be bolstered by deep sleeping … but that’s a whole different story.

What do you think? Have the final say in the comments below.

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